The Darkness was an American comic series published by Top Cow Productions in 1996. The concept was from the comic artists, namely, Marc Silvestri, David Wohl, and Garth Ennis. The Darkness first appeared in the comic series of Witchblade #10, released in November 1996.
What is The Darkness?
The Darkness is known as an ancient entity that can be passed from a human male on each generation. He is one of the two primal forces, as well as the void before the occurrence of light, The Angelus.This entity, called The Angelus, is the ruler of light and the second of the universe’s primal forces. Since the beginning, The Darkness has been at war with The Angelus. To prevent destruction, The Angelus and The Darkness have created a truce. The two primal forces consummated, which brought the conception of The Witchblade. Although The Witchblade created peace and balance between them, the anger within The Darkness remains. Eventually, he then found humankind as the vessel of his endless hate. However, humankind is the most favored among God’s creation. With this, The Darkness chose only a particular vessel among humanity. He had chosen those bloodlines that rank from the generation of the people who wants to spill chaos into the world.
The Darkness became an enemy of Heaven after he resented God. Later on, The Darkness also became the enemy of The Vatican, a holy group. Since then, The Vatican had plotted the assassination against the Darkness by sending The Magdalena. This occult mercenary, called The Magdalena, is a soldier of God that came from the linage of women descended from Mary Magdalene. Every Magdalena was trained and taught by The Vatican to protect them from a potential threat, including The Darkness.
The Darkness’ Former Hosts
The Darkness had lived over the past 10,000 years by transferring from a male host to another son of a chosen bloodline. This entity can be transferred through sexual intercourse with women. At the moment of conception, The Darkness will take the new life form, leaving its old male host dead upon the transfer. The Darkness will dwell on its new host but will be awakened on the host’s 21st birthday.
However, though The Darkness’ host will wield great power, their souls will forever remain in the Realm of The Darkness upon their death. The Realm of The Darkness is an unspecified world created by The Darkness, himself. This Realm served as a purgatorial life, ruled by The Darkness’ first host, the ‘Heart of Darkness.’
Here are some of the former hosts that became the vessel of The Darkness:
Heart of Darkness (around 10,000 BC): Heart of Darkness was the first host of The Darkness. Although he was once a human, his long residency at the Realm of The Darkness made him into a mutated ugly creature.
Christian Estacado: He was the former host of The Darkness and the former prince of The House of Estacado. He was an ancestor of the current host named Jackie Estacado.
Adelmo Estacado: Adelmo Estacado was conceived upon his father raped his mother. He was The Darkness host in 1912, though he died before the full power of The Darkness manifested in him.
Roberto Estacado:Roberto Estacado was a gun-man and the previous host of The Darkness. He was the gun-man that was hired to kill Logan, also known as Wolverine, in 1942.
Danny Estacado: Danny was the host of The Darkness around the late 20th Century. He was the father of the current host, Jackie Estacado and his twin sister, Capris Castiglione. Danny Estacado died after impregnating an unknown prostitute.
The Current Host: Jackie Estacado
Jackie Estacado was the most powerful among the hosts of The Darkness throughout the long history of the curse. He was adopted and raised as the hit-man for the syndicate, Franchetti Mafia after his mother took him to the Orphanage. However, despite being a criminal, Jackie followed a strict code of morals. He trusted those who earned it and was loyal to his family and allies.
In the earlier comic series, his love interest was his childhood friend, Jenny Romano. Upon the death of Jenny in the hands of Frankie, the Franchetti Mafia boss, Jackie was torn with grief. With this, he burned Frankie, including himself, in an abandoned warehouse. Because of this, Jackie spent time in hell, though The Darkness resurrected him.
After his revival, Jackie was then blackmailed into working for Paulie Franchetti, Frankie’s cousin. Subsequently, Jackie killed Paulie and took control over the Franchetti Mafia. Eventually, Jackie took over the Chinese syndicate called the Triad and fought the Russian Mafia in the Atlantic City. However, upon the confrontation with The Angelus, Jackie left the Mafia and fled to Sierra Munoz. There, he established a drug cartel with his own bodily fluid used in making narcotic drugs.
In the following comic series, Jackie was performing an assassination in Egypt when he came across a woman that seems to lure him. However, he then found out that this woman was a Djinn, a genie who specifically tasks to kill Darkness wielders. Following the encounter with the Djinn created by a shaman, Jackie met Aram, the former host of The Darkness, next to Heart of Darkness. Aram’s confrontation with Jackie causes to fully summon the power of The Darkness within him.
Superhuman Powers and Abilities
The Darklings: The Darkness can control a legion called ‘The Darklings.’ These creatures were made of necroplasmic materials animated by The Darkness’ spirit. The Darklings possess superhuman strength, agility, resiliency, and speed.
The Darkness Armor: Aside from the legions of servants, The Darkness also provides its host an armor called The Darkness Armor. This armor enables the host to possess superhuman strength, agility, speed, as well as the shape-shifting ability and healing factor.
Mystical Abilities: The Darkness also provides its host the power of teleportation, Immortality, heightened senses, Omnipresence, and the power to reanimate the dead.